Monday, 24 February 2014

The Infinite Black

What can I say about The Infinite Black by Whalesong Games? That it is hands down the best MMO on the phone market, that's what.

Now,  you may think I am exaggerating,  but I'm not. It has essential everything you would want from an MMORPG. Level progression, equipment progression,  clans (corporations), PVP, a low data usage and tonnes more. Still a none believer?  What if I told you that it is free AND in-app purchases don't make the game super broken.  Plus, it is really very fun.

No more of this waiting for your 'energy'  to recover. Seriously, what video games hero should really need to do that? The only real waiting you will do is for warp jumps and gun reloads. Well, that and the grind can seem a bit drawn out, especially at the beginning.

The game really opens up at level 15. You are now competent enough to move out of gray space (the newbie zone) and explore black space. You may, if you are foolish enough, wander into black sectors while under level 15, but you will almost certainly die. This is because there are big nastey aliens out there and even bigger nastier players as well. That right folks, out there in that big black is Player Vs Player space. My poxy level 7 Frigate stood no chance against a level 150 Destroyer. So lesson learnt,  stay in the safe zone until you can at least run away moderately well.

The Infinite Black get slightly let down by it's user interface. Not only can it be a bit clunky, it's confusing nature means new player can be put off. Fortunately, there is a question mark tab at the side so you can access the wiki in an easy overlay. However, it can still be overwhelming due to a large number of features being compressed into a small space. The wiki does have a tutorial that introduces how to play the game, but a formal tutorial would benefit new players.

The combat is fairly straightforward, but enjoyable and suprisingly deep. Each weapon type has it's own damage, cool down and additional stats. So choosing the best weapon for you is important. Do you want to build a heavy goliath, that needs 20 seconds to get off a massive hit? Or something that hits for less but really quickly? Another thing to remember is, equip points. These regulate how powerful your equipment can be. Meaning,  you cannot get enormous guns on your shuttle, but you can on larger vessels. Makes sense really.
There are 7 equipment slots, each one serving a different purpose. Guns for killing, armour for living and storage for collecting your enemies remains. Each equipment type has levels and further subtypes. Meaning different types of armour for different types of ship build. To add even more depth there are 7 rarities as well. This equates to a lot of options for you. Plenty to be playing with as you decide what sort of ship you want to use.

Now we know how equipment works, back to the combat. Once your chosen tool of space domination has reloaded you can choose a target. Your attack can now either hit, miss or crit. The liklihood of each is destermined by both your stats and your opponents. Throw in grappling, (for towing or being towed), the unknown factors about your enemy and splash damage and you have a really deep and strategic system that requires thought and planning. Deciding when to run and when to stand your ground. Which ships to chase and which to let escape. Honestly, I feel like a proper ship Captain taking on the Universe, making snap judgements that could mean life or death.

Overall I give The Infinite Black -
Let down only by being unfriendly to newcomers and hard to get into with a wobbly UI, I still heartily recommend The Infinite Black.

General Information

Game Name - The Infinite Black - Android, iOS
Developer - Whalesong Games
Genre - Action, Adventure, RPG, MMO, Strategy, Exploration